Yesterday, Microsoft announced that Windows Thin PC (WinTPC) has reached its RTM milestone and will become generally available for download on July 1, 2011.
Windows Thin PC (WinTPC) is a new version of Windows 7 designed specifically for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) customers. Windows Thin PC is a smaller footprint, locked down version of Windows 7 designed for virtualised environments to rebuild their existing PCs as thin clients. PCs with WinTPC will not require the VDA license that regular thin clients will need to access VDI desktops.
WinTPC will offer:
– Rich VDI experience through support for RemoteFX
– Improved end point security by denying certain disk writes via filters
– Enterprise-grade management support through System Center
Few features added in the RTM release includes;
– Keyboard Filter: WinTPC will have the capability to allow customers to lock certain key combinations, such as Ctrl +Alt + Delete, from being utilized and taking effect on a Windows Thin PC device, thereby providing customers with greater level of security and control over user interaction with their WinTPCs.
– International IMEs (Input Method Editor) support: WinTPC will now include the option to support international keyboards.
– Key Management Server (KMS)/Multiple Activation Key (MAK): WinTPC will now be able to activate against a customer’s existing KMS server or use MAK keys, which enables quick and easy activation mechanisms that customers already use for their Windows desktops today.
Additionally, WinTPC leverages Windows Enterprise features such as BitLocker and AppLocker to further secure the endpoint.
In a Windows Team blog post;
Customers told us that they want an easy way to repurpose their existing PCs as thin clients. WinTPC makes this a reality and plays a part in our broader desktop virtualization strategy , which is to deliver the flexibility to work from everywhere, improve compliance and business continuity, and simplify management so that IT professionals can deliver better service to employees.
Note: Windows Thin PC is a Software Assurance benefit. Customers with active SA coverage on their PCs will be able to install WinTPC on those devices. Customers without active SA coverage on their PCs can get SA by purchasing a Windows Virtual Desktop Access subscription, which includes SA benefits such as WinTPC. However, only devices with an existing Windows client OS (Professional / Business, Enterprise, Ultimate) qualify for WinTPC.